Carson gridders wrap up spring practice
Carson High’s football team wrapped up its two-week spring session with a two-hour 7-on-7 scrimmage Thursday afternoon.
“It was an awesome spring,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “The turnout was tremendous. I think we had over 90 players (incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors) through the entire camp. It’s a tough time to do this with finals coming up, and the kids are trying to make sure they have their academics straightened out.
“I’m really pleased with our defense. That’s one of the big positives. We’re an athletic and fast defense. I’m pleased where we’re at.”
The secondary appears very strong. The group picked off quarterback Garrett Schaefer three times in the scrimmage, one each by Austin Schaffer, Brady O’Keefe and Andrew Gutierrez. Sophomore Asa Carter had three pass deflections.
Carter will be competing for time at safety with Gehrig Tucker, Dilyn Rooker and Nolan Shine, who injured his knee during wrestling but is expected to be at full strength by July. Tucker missed most of the 2012 season with a concussion, and originally it was thought that he would be confined to playing wide receiver. Tucker could also play cornerback if needed there as can Gutierrez, Rooker and Aaron Perez, who didn’t finish out last season with the Senators.
“Gehrig wants to play both ways,” Roman said. “He wants to be in there. This is the first time that Asa has played safety. He was a linebacker, but you have a kid who triple jumps 45 feet you have to have him out there. Dilyn played safety last year out of necessity. He is the type of athlete we want out there. We have options there. The competition is really good (in the defensive backfield).”
Shaffer and Brady Rivera handled the inside linebacking spots, and both will probably be the opening game starters. Aaron Cowee, Jesse Knight and Andrew Cooper all return on the defensive line. Chase Blueberg, Stephan Sobkiewicz and Joey Thurman are among the returning candidates at outside linebacker.
Schaefer will be the No. 1 quarterback entering summer camp. He was up and down in the scrimmage, completing 24 of 54 unofficially with TDs to Thurman, Gutierrez, Shaffer and Rooker. He looked better rolling out and throwing than he did on straight drop-back passing attempts.
“He (Schaefer) looked good at times,” Roman said. “He’s not on the same page with all the receivers yet. We’ll get there. I like our offense.”
Thurman, the leading returning receiver from last year’s team, caught seven passes. Roman is pleased with his outside receiving corp of Austin Kiesow, Tucker, Rooker and newcomer Alan Cohen, who is one of Carson’s top basketball players.
“I’m excited about Alan,” Roman said. “He has a lot to learn, but you can see his athletic ability. A guy that is 6-5 and can jump like he can … The position is upgraded from last year. We have four or five options.”
Dakota Baker, Blueberg and Rivera are the top tight end candidates, and Roman said there are a couple of incoming juniors in the mix, too. The backfield appears solid with Colby Brown, Shaffer, Nevin Elliott and Thurman battling for playing time.
Cooper and Cowee anchor the offensive line. Noah Texeira is working hard to win the center spot. Cowee has moved from guard to tackle.
NEW COACHING ASSIGNMENTS
Pat Houlihan, a fixture on the Carson coaching staff as the offensive line coach, will retire at the end of the school year and is moving to Texas. His spot will be taken by Jim Franz. Vic Castro, who coached the freshman team last year and has varsity experience from his days in Southern California, will work with the defensive line. Bob Bateman (defensive backs), Shane Quilling (linebackers) and Steve Dilley (wide receivers) remain in their present positions.